Livorno player Piermario Morosini died on Saturday after collapsing half an hour into his side’s Serie B match against Pescara. He was 25. The midfielder had spent most of his career in Italy’s second tier, playing five Serie A games for Udinese in the 2005/06 season before being loaned out by the northern club to Bologna, Vicenza, Reggina, Padua and Livorno, where he arrived last January.

Extremely saddened to learn of the player’s untimely death, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter wrote to the President of the Italian Football Association (FIGC) Giancarlo Abete, to pass on his condolences.

“It was with great sorrow that I received the news of Piermario Morosini’s tragic death during Saturday’s match between Pescara and Livorno,” he wrote. “The family history of this young man makes his loss even more harrowing. There are some situations in which words fail us. How can you explain such a tragedy? It is impossible.”

Morosini endured much grief during his life. His mother died when he was 15 and his father two years later, shortly after which his handicapped brother committed suicide. The player is survived by his partner Anna Vavassori and his sister.

“We must do everything in our power to ensure that there are no more premature deaths on the pitch,” added the head of world football’s governing body. “The pitch is a place of fun, enjoyment, competition and fair play, a place of hope and a window on the future.”

FIFA is, and always will be, committed to medical research, even more so now.

Joseph S. Blatter

Addressing the local media, Livorno President Aldo Spinelli summed up the sense of desolation at the club: “It is a tragedy and we are grief-stricken. This is a very difficult moment for us and we must all try to come together in order to move forward. We must be brave.”

Meanwhile, FIGC chief Abete announced on Monday that a minute’s silence will be observed before this week’s matches in memory of the late Morosini.

Before concluding his letter, Blatter stressed that FIFA will continue with its support of medical research: “FIFA is, and always will be, committed to medical research, even more so now. Jointly funded by FIFA, a sports medicine department will be opened this week at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, and at the end of May a world congress on medical research will be held in Budapest, following FIFA’s Annual Congress.

“None of this will bring Piermario Morosini back to life. Nevertheless we will perhaps one day be able to prevent such tragedies from occurring.”

The player’s funeral will be held this Thursday in Bergamo.